Five Workplace Personalities And How to Manage Them - October 4, 2017

I once worked with a woman who was in a much more senior position than I was. Whenever I walked into her office for a request, she yelled. And not just at me. She yelled at every subordinate who interacted with her. She is what I would call the office bully.

Then there was my boss. He didn't yell, but he played the game. While, in reality, he did very little work, he acted like he was busy and productive in front of his peers. He was a know-it-all and a political yes-man.

Does this sound like school recess from your younger years? When you interact with coworkers on a daily basis, sometimes professionalism can take a backseat to personality conflicts. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these insights from business author Helen Isbister on common schoolyard personalities you can find in the office and how to deal with them.

The bully. Bullies usually feed off reactions, so curb your emotions. Avoid confrontation, but if you're in the right, you should stand your ground in a professional way. Don't be afraid to voice your concerns to your boss or an HR professional. If things still don't improve, you might consider finding another job.

The credit thief. These are the employees who either copy or take credit for your hard work. The risk here is that they, not you, could end up with the bonus. What should you do? To keep your work out of the credit thief's hands, you may have to step up security on what you are doing. If you have a brilliant idea, keep it to yourself until you have unveiled it to the boss. Make sure your boss, and no one else, has regular updates of the projects you are working on.

The know-it-all. This person tends to know everything first and has plenty of ideas that he or she believes are the best ideas. While dealing with this type of personality can be nerve-racking, you must be calm and deliberate. Make suggestions that get other people's ideas on the table as well. For example, propose that each person at the meeting has a time to speak and share their opinions.++

The backstabber. In front of the boss, they are kind and cordial, but turn your back for a moment and they're doing everything they can to ensure their success and your failure. Managing a backstabber can take a group effort. Set the example by standing up to this colleague next time they start slicing into one of your coworkers. Before you know it, they will have no one left to complain about.

The office gossip. We all know this person-the one that spends most of their day sharing the latest gossip with other employees. They could be spreading rumors about anything from the next company restructure to the latest office romance. An office gossip can lead to disinformation and a toxic work environment. Plus, if the rumors reach the wrong ears-like your company president-the results could be disastrous. Generally, it is best to actively avoid office politics and gossip—no matter how juicy the material is. Use these strategies and be prepared the next time you encounter one of these dysfunctional roles in your workplace.

Source: Helen Isbister is a contributing writer for CareerFAQs, a website dedicated to the best career resources and course information to help others develop new skills and get ahead in their careers.

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